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52                                LETTERS   FROM   THE

sidering and racking his brain in vain, fancying
there was a double meaning in this speech, and
at last said, " Ma foi! pour celui-la, je ne le com-
prends pas."

Every time anything is made for the King's
children, a double quantity, dit-on, is made
and sold by Madame de Polignac and Madame
d'Harcourt. They have twelve dozen shirts a

Madame de la Vaupalidre, hearing that an
abbaie was vacant, wrote to the Bishop of Orleans,
who had la porte-feuille des benefices9 in favour of
her sister, who had been abbess somewhere before.
This was her letter: "Monseigneur, je viens d'ap-
prendre que 1'Abbaie du Parc-aux-Cerfs est vacante,
et je vous supplie de la donner & ma soeur. Elle
en est digne, ayant dji fait ses preuves; et je
suis sfire qu'on lui trouvera toutes les qualites
requises pour mettre ce couvent sur le meilleur
pied possible."

Now this Parc-aux~Cerf$ is a house near Ver-
sailles, where Louis Quinze had a seraglio, and she
put this phrase by mistake instead of Pont-aux~
Dames. The King and Bishop having entertained
themselves with this letter, the prelate wrote a
polite answer, assuring Madame de la Vaupalidre
that he had no doubt of her sister's qualifications,